The “totally unwarranted massacre” of badgers in England must be “stopped immediately”, an animal welfare group has told the Government.
The call comes as the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs revealed that 32,601 badgers were killed during control operations conducted in 30 areas of England between 3rd September and 1st November 2018.
Farming minister George Eustice said that the operations were helping to “achieve and maintain long-term reductions in the level of TB in cattle across the South West and Midlands”.
Natural England chief scientist Tim Hill said the operations indicate that “industry-led badger control continues to deliver the level of effectiveness required by the policy to be confident of achieving disease control benefits”.
UK chief veterinary officer Christine Middlemiss said there had been a 50 per cent fall in the number of new confirmed cattle “breakdowns” in the first areas to trial culls.
She said culling should continue in these areas for the duration of existing licences, lasting one or two years.
However, Catholic Concern for Animals (CCA) expressed disgust at the continued culling of badgers in England. “It is totally unacceptable to be culling these animals,” said Chris Fegan, CCA chief executive. “The scientific evidence has never been there to justify the cull as a means to reducing Bovine TB, and for the government to spend £50 Million of taxpayers money on destroying these wonderful and normally protected creatures is deplorable.
“We now hear that the culls may go on for another two years – this is a totally unwarranted massacre of one of our most loved animals and should be stopped immediately.”
Picture: File photo dated 28/07/08 of a wild badger. (Ben Birchall/PA).